‘We have made a deal with the devil’

The war effort in Iraq has become so desperate that U.S. soldiers now fight alongside insurgents who have attacked and killed Americans in the past.

As one intelligence officer puts it: "We have made a deal with the devil."

And while some American soldiers call the uneasy alliance "encouraging" others wonder if this "deal with the devil" will become just another blunder in a war of blunders.

Writes Joshua Partlow of The Washington Post:

The worst month of Lt. Col. Dale Kuehl's deployment in western Baghdad was finally drawing to a close. The insurgent group al-Qaeda in Iraq had unleashed bombings that killed 14 of his soldiers in May, a shocking escalation of violence for a battalion that had lost three soldiers in the previous six months while patrolling the Sunni enclave of Amiriyah. On top of that, the 41-year-old battalion commander was doubled up with a stomach flu when, late on May 29, he received a cellphone call that would change everything.

"We're going after al-Qaeda," a leading local imam said, Kuehl recalled. "What we want you to do is stay out of the way."

"Sheik, I can't do that. I can't just leave Amiriyah and let you go at it."

"Well, we're going to go."

The week that followed revolutionized Kuehl's approach to fighting the insurgency and serves as a vivid example of a risky, and expanding, new American strategy of looking beyond the Iraqi police and army for help in controlling violent neighborhoods. The American soldiers in Amiriyah have allied themselves with dozens of Sunni militiamen who call themselves the Baghdad Patriots — a group that American soldiers believe includes insurgents who have attacked them in the past — in an attempt to drive out al-Qaeda in Iraq. The Americans have granted these gunmen the power of arrest, allowed the Iraqi army to supply them with ammunition, and fought alongside them in chaotic street battles.

To many American soldiers in Amiriyah, this nascent allegiance stands out as an encouraging development after months of grinding struggle. They liken the fighters to the minutemen of the American Revolution, painting them as neighbors taking the initiative to protect their families in the vacuum left by a failing Iraqi security force. In their first week of collaboration, the Baghdad Patriots and the Americans killed roughly 10 suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq members and captured 15, according to Kuehl, who said those numbers rivaled totals for the previous six months combined. He is now working to fashion the group into the beginnings of an Amiriyah police force, since the mainly Shiite police force refuses to work in the area.

"This is a defining moment for us," said Kuehl, who commands the 1st Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, attached to the 1st Infantry Division.

But aligning Americans with fighters whose long-term agenda remains unclear — with regard to either Americans or the Shiite-led government — is also a strategy born of desperation. It contradicts repeated declarations by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki that no groups besides the Iraqi and American security forces are allowed to bear arms. And some American soldiers worry that standing up a Sunni militia could have dire consequences if the group turns on its U.S. partners.

"We have made a deal with the devil," said an intelligence officer in the battalion.


  1. Jenifer D.

    Uh-huh, didn’t we adopt the same strategy in Vietnam? That blew up in our collective faces, too. Bushco gives not two shits about the folks he’s getting killed in Iraq, he surrounds himself with ‘yes’ men and women who are afraid to tell him the real deal.

    Remember the story ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’? It took a small child to point out the fact that the Emperor was naked. Will it take a small child to tell us invading and occupying Iraq was a stupid idea?

    Kinda reminds me of Paris Hilton and her complete and utter disregard for laws or the people that enforce them; The difference? She’s in jail and he’s out creating more havoc.

  2. Hal Brown

    Let’s not forget that in mythology and fiction a “deal with the Devil” brings short term gain, but requires selling your soul on the installment plan.

  3. gene

    We read the same stories day after day and they all say the same thing. Bush is a murdering bastard and this nation’s government is made up of evil SOBs that care NOTHING for the constitution of this (has been) nation.

    Congress want stop this white house gain, the American public doesn’t give a shit as long as they can remain in their ON “drean land USA”.

    Personally I’m sick of this nation that is now controlled by Bushco and his gain of human trash. Their is ONE issue though that is going to get him (Bushco) and the American public in serious shit. Actually it has started and has been developing for several years now.

    This issue will create an evironment that most in this nation DESERVE!! and I will (almost) be glad to watch except for the fact that I will also have to be a part of the hell that is already here and growing daily.

    Just what is this issue? A dollar that is truely worthless, financial Armageddon. This nation is bankrupt a thousand times over on ever level that exsist, ie. personnel, city, county,state, and (for dam sure) national.

    It will soon become a “living hell” for many if not most………….good!!!!!!

  4. Ken Hill

    Ha ha. 6+ long term bases, world biggest embassy? The Democrats are going to get us out?? Ha ha ha. I do not think so.

    What, the Democrats are going to tell the American public that they got us out of Iraq because it was morally the right thing to do when gas is 7+/gallon—-and we had giant reserves right under our nose–but left them to be looted??!! All the Democrats are hoping for is that our soldiers can retreat to the huge bases and get off the streets, where they would only reemerge to put down any designs on “our” oil wells. End of f****n story.

    Obama, Hillary et al can talk till they are blue in the face that they will get us out of Iraq if they are elected. They won’t–no f****n way.

  5. Paolo

    This article illustrates the problem of going into a region where you don’t know the history, and trying to take over and run things by playing one group off against the other. Then, you switch things around and form an alliance with your former enemies against your former friends.

    Empire megalomaniacs think they can always pull the right strings on the marionette to stay in power. Eventually, the groups you toy with are going to get wise and form an alliance against YOU. At that point, your goose is cooked.

    The Brits couldn’t hold their empire together, and they were far more thorough than the idiots in Washington at things like training personnel to speak the local language and learn the local customs.

    Eventually, America will face defeat in the region, which would be the best thing that could ever happen to it, if it leads to a non-interventionist foreign policy.

  6. Sandra Price

    The fit will hit the fan next year. Lots of things are coming to the surface. Now several churches are turning away from Bushco on his action before and after 9/11. Stay tuned! I’m on it.

  7. Ken Hill

    Unless we get a candidate who is serious about all alternative energies, and this includes nuclear as the biggie, and rules out the gigantic ludicrous farm subsidy ethanol, you can forget about ever seriously considering leaving the middle east. It is astounding that no one has proposed a Manhattan Project for energy, but since all our key politicians owe their election to big oil, I guess it is not surprising.

    Nuclear would be the major electrical provider, and also be used to make hydrogen for fuel cells. Nuclear plants and fuel cells powered by hydrogen emit no greenhouse gasses–beautiful! Solar, wind, waste conversion, tidal, conservation and other means need to be given long term tax incentives so they won’t be left twisting in the wind. It is extremely important alternative energies are given the same preferential treatment nuclear would be given. If all of this is proposed and brought to fruition, I might believe we could get out of the middle east. Otherwise it is a pipe dream and won’t happen, no matter who is in office.

    This would take guts, truth telling and a total overhaul of our political process. So, I guess, it will never happen. We will remain in the middle east forever, or until the wells run dry. Get used to it, or demand your elected officials get serious about alternatives. Time is short my folks…

  8. kent shaw

    Ethanol has a major achilles heel that is almost never mentioned. Around four gallons of water is required for every gallon produced of ethanol. Just a wild guess is that the U.S. burns 100,000,000 gallons of gasoline a day. Its probably much more. That would requre 400,000,000 gallons of water daily to fuel the nation’s car fleet. Already the aquifers in Iowa are coming under stress from the infant ethanol industry.

    As for oil, yes, I’m sure the plan is to stay in the middle east until the last drop is pumped. And war will be continuous during that time, so, although you are paying $3 a gallon at the pump, its really costing more like $7 a gallon when you figure in your tax dollars supporting war, occupation and genocide required for access to the oil. Also, note that many many successful wells have been drilled in the Gulf of Mexico and capped. These are wells fully ready to begin production once the mideast has run dry. There are huge untapped resources all offshore on both sides of Florida and up the eastern seaboard. Canada and the U.S. have massive untapped petroleum resources in the form of and oil shales and sands. Yes, its harder to tap those sources but eminently doable. There is no shortage of oil, but the consumer will be gouged for every last drop. Nor is there any shortage in refining capacity when you consider that the world’s fourth largest refinery, which happens to be lying mothballed out of production, resides in the eastern United States.

    However, more important is the question of whether or not we want to keep burning hydrocarbons and creating carbon dioxide. Maybe we do. Global warming and the rise of the seas will surely kill off a couple billion people and overpopulation is the real root problem. Once the elite are rid of us useless eaters the remaining environment will be less stressed and there will be even more for the rich elite.

    And if you think the oil wars which have already begun are going to go from bad to worse, you ain’t seen nuffin’ yet. Wait for the water wars. Then you’ll see some real genocides. Possibly some that will even top that of the invading Europeans over the North American Natives that started 300 years ago.

    Of course we Americans do believe that we are exceptional and have the moral right to dictate terms to the rest of the world. You gotta believe a country that was birthed in genocide and slavery should be accorded the moral high ground, after all.

  9. Carl Nemo

    The U.S. never learns from it’s mistakes. I guess the reason being that the planners aren’t risking their butts on the front lines or in the streets going house to house!

    Probably everyone has heard of Pol Pot and the Cambodian Kmer Rouge. Pol Pot through control of his vicious followers was responsible for an estimated 7.5 million deaths! The reason this monster could arise to power was our incessant bombing of Cambodia which turned many if not most of the “right-thoughted” Cambodians away from the U.S. and into his clutches for indoctrinational purposes. The stories associated with Pol’s campaign of genocide would make even hard men tremble! But, again we can thank our pseudo-intellectual, elitist pinheads holding jobs in the CIA, the DIA for continually ill-advising this countries leadership for the purpose of implementing their never-ending “shadowy” agenda to establish American based M.I. Complex hegemony worldwide.

    Yeah they’ve made a deal with the devil alright. Once we let our guard down thinking they are our “buddies” they just might slit the throat or back-shoot the American G.I. they are supposedly supporting. Sounds like a brilliant bait and switch plan to me! These people are all suicidal it seems; so for a large group of them to turn on our guys on command wouldn’t surprise me at all. If I were on patrol, none of them would bringing up the rear…!

    I urge people to spend some time reading about the war era politics of SE Asia and what a mind-numbing clusterf**k it had become during our presence in the region. The same game is being played again in Iraq. When the history books are finally written about another dark era in American history; i.e., if we are still catalogued as a nation, the same conclusions will be drawn, just different players and terrain, same ol’ b.s., just another decade!


    Carl Nemo